A policy forum conference today in Israel was a chance for Israel’s far-right coalition members to lay out new demands for the nation’s Arab minority, with Economy Minister Naftali Bennett demanding “zero tolerance” for Israeli Arabs having a “national identity” as a formal part of government policy.
Bennett insisted he was working “obsessively” to integrate Arabs into the Israeli economy as individuals, but that they must be forbidden any sense of identity beyond that, and that the only “national identity” Israel could ever allow was Jewishness.
Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar went on to condemn both Arabs and “leftists,” saying they had promoted school books that forwarded the idea of Israel as a state for all its citizens, and that he spent his time in the Education Ministry trying to ban such books from the classrooms.
Bennett went on to insist that Palestinian statehood would mean that if the Israeli Arabs carved out an identity they’d get “one and a half states” and that the Jews would only have half of one. Bennett did not mention his vehement opposition to Palestinian statehood in the comment.